Fresh garden organic cucumbers in row ready for pickled with garlic. dill and pink Himalayan salt over white marble background. Flat lay. space. (Photo by: Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Why Pizza Is Often Served With Pickles In South Korea
In the United States, classic side dishes for pizza often come in the form of more carbs: breadsticks, mozzarella sticks, garlic knots, or a Caesar salad with croutons. However, in South Korea, the ideal pizza side is one that’s usually associated with deli sandwiches and hamburgers — cucumber pickles.
Though pickles and pizza may surprise you, the pickles here serve the same purpose as they do with a fatty burger. A commenter on the Kimchi Mamas blog explains that "Koreans have a hard time with cheese and butter and other rich Western foods. It goes down better for us when there's something to cut through the richness."
South Koreans used to eat kimchi after a Western meal to add some contrasting acid to the rich food, but later switched to pickles, since pickles seem more Western. The actual pizzas in Korea are also different from those in the U.S., with features like crusts stuffed with mashed sweet potatoes and toppings like bulgogi.